Elon hosts third Annual Global Pedagogy workshop

Elon University’s Global Education Center (GEC), in collaboration with The Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL), hosted the third annual Global Pedagogy Workshop on August 10, 2023.

With the theme of “Cultivating Community, Wellbeing and Belonging to Maximize Study Away Learning,” the 2023 Global Pedagogy Workshop was designed to prepare faculty and staff who lead students on study away programs, including study abroad and Study USA.

This year’s workshop featured Keshia Abraham, an African Diaspora scholar, international educator, speaker and author. Abraham noted that her “intention was to help faculty leaders embrace the joy in their work while considering the contemplative practices that help keep them well.” Further, she explained that she wanted participants to develop strategies for creating learning environments for students, “rooted in the principles of justice, equity, dignity, community, and care.”

Afternoon sessions hosted by Elon faculty and staff Evan Small, Carol Smith, Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Lauren Kearns, Vanessa Drew-Branch, Whitney Gregory and Jameka Pinnix explored topics related to study away including approaches for cultivating community, fostering learning and belonging through community-engaged learning, incorporating a JEDI-B approach, and fostering positive mental health and wellbeing.

Nick Gozik, dean of global education, explains that “the Global Pedagogy Workshop ties clearly into both our university’s Boldly Elon plan, as well as the upcoming Global Strategic plan.”

Elon has long been a leader in global education, Gozik added, pointing out that in the next stages of planning, “a greater focus will be placed on how to prepare faculty leaders to serve as mentors for students during away programs, helping students become more intentional, aware, and prepared to integrate into host cities and countries.”

Elon was thrilled to welcome visitors to the workshop, with representatives from Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and North Carolina Central University. Doing so “brings voices from other campus environments, permitting all of us to grow in new and exciting ways,” Gozik said.

Olivia Choplin, interim director of CATL and associate professor of French, explained further that a primary goal for the workshop was to provide faculty with concrete tools and approaches that they can integrate into their teaching and mentoring.

“The Global Education Center and the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning have been wonderful thought partners in the engagement of faculty with evidence-based pedagogies that deepen students’ learning from study away experiences,” Choplin said.

She added that it was “energizing to hold an in-person event this year, and a great way to launch into the new semester.”

Others appreciated the focus of sessions on diversity, equity, and inclusion. “This year’s theme really demonstrated that our Global Education Center has the pulse of the global education because the emphasis on how to stay well while creating inclusive educational opportunities in this current climate,” said Vanessa Drew-Branch, associate professor of human service studies and interim associate director of CATL.

Likewise, Mat Gendle, professor of psychology, noted that the sessions he attended “pushed faculty to think more deeply about issues surrounding equity and inclusion in their course offerings.” He left with new ideas about how to critically approach his engagement with students in study away contexts, as well as to how to connect with them in more effective ways.